Gunvir’s Experience in SFU Global Asia:
What influenced you to take GA courses? How did you hear about them or what made you want to take them?
The major reason I found the GA program appealing is because of the fact that I could take courses from various departments which meant I could choose courses that appealed to me based on their content and I would not be limited to choosing courses from a singular department. Also, I thought it was a minor that would accompany my history major really well because of the similarities in course styles and these similarities meant that I already had some of the lower division pre-requisites completed.
Is there anything about GA that stands out compared to other courses you have taken at SFU? What feels unique about them?
From my experiences with GA 101 [Introduction to Global Asia] and 301 [Asia-Canada Identities], I enjoyed how these courses looked at the social, cultural, historical, economic, and political ties between different Asian countries, civilizations and communities. In other courses that I've taken, there usually is not an opportunity to look at the links between different Asian groups so I think this makes GA courses unique because they do not look at Asian countries, civilizations and communities in isolation from one another but as interconnected parts of a broader system that has evolved throughout history. GA courses also allow us to explore what it means to be "Asian" and how we choose to define this term.
Can you describe a memorable experience from one of your GA courses?
For GA 301, we had a guest lecturer who was the director of a documentary we had watched for the course and she talked to us about the process of filming the documentary and her motivation behind the project. One topic I found intriguing that came up a few times in my GA courses was that of the "third space." it was a theme that was present throughout a lot of the material, especially where diaspora groups were concerned, so I enjoyed seeing how the experience of the third space was portrayed in different mediums such as artwork, films, and literature.
Does GA fit in with your major? Why do you believe GA is worth taking?
GA courses fit really well with my major because they tend to discuss similar themes and events that I learn about in my history courses but in more depth and from an alternate perspective… I can incorporate what I have learned about these events and themes in my history courses when looking at contemporary Asia and Global Asian communities. I think GA courses are worth taking because they cover areas that otherwise do not get taught. For example, Asian immigrant and minority experiences in Canada become the main focus of a GA course while in other courses they are [covered in 1 lecture or less]. I would recommend GA courses to other students especially if they are interested in learning about connections between different Asian groups and communities, and their historical and contemporary experiences.